Marketing to a segment size of one is called individualization i.e. real one-to-one personalization. In practical terms, it can show unique content to every website visitor, and a different message in every email sent in a campaign. Individualization is more effective than personalization because it is powered by more data (and that data is more up-to-date).
So who are these individuals? Typically they are known website visitors, prospects, and customers. These are people we can name and know about, although that data may be scattered across the ecosystem e.g. their browsing behavior in Sitecore, their contact details and opportunity stage in Salesforce, and their customer journey status in Salesforce Marketing Cloud or Pardot. Combined, these attributes make an individual unique.
The obvious place to collect an individual's data is in Salesforce where it is widely accessible. This is achieved via integration. From Sitecore, an individual's personal details and web browsing behavior can be pushed to a Salesforce lead or contact record when a webform is submitted. In the reverse direction, field values in Salesforce records can be mapped back to Sitecore and rules-based personalization used to deliver individualized targeted content.
Salesforce's strong integrations with email automation platforms (e.g. Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Pardot, Marketo) allow any personal data in Salesforce to be used to influence the content in outbound emails.
To understand the power of individualization, consider a known visitor browsing the website. The visitor will already be a Salesforce lead or contact so their record is likely to contain their:
- Name, email, and other details pushed to Salesforce when they submitted a Sitecore web form
- Website browsing behavior before and after the form was submitted (goals, personas, pages visited, visit count, etc.). Suddenly Salesforce is alive with invaluable intelligence for the sales team
- Lead and opportunity status values assigned to them by the sales team
- Campaign data (e.g. opt-ins, membership, activity history, etc.) resulting from their interactions with the sales and marketing teams
Any of these values in Salesforce can be used to directly individualize the visitor's current or future experience on the website. This is possible by mapping Salesforce lead, contact, and/or opportunity fields to Sitecore xDB facet fields, then using rules-based personalization to tailor the visitor's web content.
Sales Funnel Personalizations
A huge benefit of individualization is enabling the sales team to tailor web content. This powerful tactic helps focus the customer on a product and its accessories as they are navigated through the customer journey (and sales funnel). A simple example is using the Salesforce lead status to personalize Sitecore content. Different status values create different experiences:
- Investigating: Web content promotes downloading a white paper or attending a webinar on the product of interest
- Evaluating: Sitecore displays upsell products, and encourages a demo or meeting
- Trialing: A personalized "Welcome back" message greets a returning visitor by using their first name, and/or content promotes a discount or deal if a product is purchased within a time frame
- Negotiating: Expose normally hidden pages showing favorable comparisons with competitor pricing. Another option is to inject the name of the sales rep, phone number, email address, and/or personal comment, in a popup message. The popup will only be visible to the targeted prospect and remain visible until the status is changed in Salesforce
- Closed Won: With the sale completed, web content can focus on support, retaining the customer, and enticing them with cross-sell products.
The conversation above speaks to website personalization but equally, the Salesforce status data, including Sitecore website behavior, can be used to send personalized emails to the prospect. Mass emails are usually sent via marketing automation platforms e.g. Pardot, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, or Marketo. These systems have wizards that import Salesforce field values so outbound email content can be personalized based on these values. Targeted email links (click-throughs) can drive recipients to different content based on their Salesforce status. Typically these are teaser pages, registration forms, email preference pages, opt-out pages, etc.
Individualization enables intensive personalization. For example, there are many ways sales reps can use Salesforce to personalize Sitecore to improve engagement and increase sales. Simply moving the prospect through the sales funnel in Salesforce causes Sitecore to personalize content in real-time. From targeting content, sales follow-up, Sitecore portal creation, and live call support, the combination of Salesforce, and Sitecore are unbeatable for customer acquisition and retention.